As it is every year, the UK-UL matchup was swarming with NBA scouts. You’ll find scouts from almost every NBA team in attendance, from Miami to Sacramento. Yesterday wasn’t any different, with a lot of potential draft picks in action.
Adam Zagoria, writing for SNY.tv, recently shared what one NBA scout had to say about 3 current Wildcats. Some of the scout’s comments were good, others were brutally honest.
When discussing Tyler Ulis, the NBA scout praised what he could do given his small size.
“Yes he can [play in the NBA] and he will be drafted,” said the scout who attended Kentucky’s 75-73 win over Louisville at Rupp Arena. “The question is where. He’s a first-round talent and he’s got middle-school size. He’s the smartest player [on Kentucky], he’s the most highly skilled, he has the best understanding of how to play. He’s a coach on the floor. He loves the big stage. He had 21 points, he had 8 assists, 1 turnover. He carried Big Blue Nation on his little 5-foot-9 shoulders.”
Then came his assessment of Skal Labissiere, which was brutally honest following another disappointing game.
“Big Skal, no strength, no toughness, no game,” the scout said. “Comes off the bench, plays 10 minutes, had 2 points, 3 rebounds, 0-for-3 from the floor. Shot an air ball on an easy hook. He’s not going to play anymore for Kentucky, I don’t think. There’s nothing he could do. The Louisville big men are mediocre at best. Truth be told, they’re below mediocre. He couldn’t do nothing with them. He’s a fraud. The thing is going the other way fast.”
When Zagoria mentioned to the NBA scout that Skal was still projected as the 5th pick in next year’s NBA Draft:
“No. 5, he’s not No. 1, he’s not No. 5, he’s not No. 51. That’s a joke.”
Then he added:
“You gotta see kids play against big-time college athletes and then you can make some kind of assessment. This is Rupp Arena, sold out, this is religious tribal warfare. It’s one of the great rivalries in college basketball and if the kid didn’t have a big name, he wouldn’t even have played because he didn’t deserve to play. That’s my opinion.”
Lastly, the scout mentioned Jamal Murray. He mostly noted what Murray continues to do wrong, but remains optimistic that he’ll learn with more time:
“Murray has strength, Murray has a chance to be a decent player. He has a lot to learn. If he’s going to be taken in the first round it’s hard to pass on that money.”
What are your thoughts on this NBA scout’s opinions? Was he being too harsh on Skal, or just giving the honest truth?